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Hunting Prep: Archery Setup

Today I am starting a new series for this blog, all about Hunting Prep.  As we are drawing closer to the opening hunting seasons in Montana for bear and turkey, I wanted to discuss what I am doing to get ready to be in the woods.

Archery Setup

For the first part of this series I will discuss my bow and archery setup and what I am running during the off-season.  The bow I am using is one  purchased four years ago and it is a Mission Riot . Updated bows can from them can be found at missionarchery.com.
I purchased this bow with a couple of things in mind.  The first was it has a lifetime warranty for the first owner.  I would be able to use it first for my own bow, but then my kids can use it when they get old enough to come hunting with me.  My oldest is 10, so she is two years away from going out with me and using this bow in the field.  The reason she can use the bow is it has a wide range of draw length and draw weight.  The draw length is adjustable without a bow press from 19 inches to 30 inches.  The draw weights are from 15 pounds to 70 pounds.
Right now I am pulling 66 lbs. and I have it set for a 29 inch draw.  I am unsure as to the speed of my arrows, but I have been using this setup for the past couple of years and have taken some great animals with it.
I had turned down the bow from the 70 pounds maximum to give me a bit of ease when pulling it back and holding for long lengths of time.  The case for this was when 4 years ago I was holding on an elk for over two minutes waiting for one more step to be taken.  To which he saw us and bolted.  At that point I most likely wouldn’t have been able to get a good shot off as I was starting to shake and probably would have let down.
However, over this summer, I may turn the bow back up as I have been working towards a healthier lifestyle and should have the strength for it.  More on that in future posts.
The arrows I am running are the Hunter XT from Goldtip.    When I purchased the bow from the local shop, I purchased my first dozen arrows from Gold Tip.  I had heard great things about how tough these arrows are.  Unknowingly, I would put some through the wringer over the next couple of years.  I have some arrows that were shot through multiple animals and remain intact.  I have even seen a person shoot and hit a metal target with these arrows and the arrow didn’t shatter.  From those original arrows, I still have three left.  Another testament of how well they hold up.

Next week I will talk about the accessories (sight, quiver, and other items) I am going to be running this year for archery.

Kevin’s First Archery Bull Elk

Every year there is a place in Montana where I apply for an archery permit because it has 75% draw odds so I can draw it and hunt with the rest of the crew.  This is one of my favorite hunts during the year, as we are able to see elk and every once in a while be able to get within bow range.  This is a public land hunt, but sometimes it can seem as if it were not a public land hunt.  This year I invited a friend, Kevin, to come along on this hunt and put in for the same draw for a permit.

This year ended up a bit differently.  We applied  for the permits and then came the long wait.  The months and weeks seemed to crawl by, waiting to see how our crew did with the lottery.  One day, while on Facebook, I saw someone post that the permits had been drawn and were available to look at on the Montana Fish Wildlife and parks website.

I went to look and after a couple of minutes, my hopes were dashed.  I ended up not drawing the elk tag.  After a few phone calls and text messages, I found out the rest of the party had.  Since I didn’t want to miss out on this hunt though, this would essentially make me the caller for this trip. * On a side note, I would end up drawing a cow tag for the same unit, but that tag would not be a priority during bow season.

Opening weekend

Elk Tines Imagery

Kevin (my friend who I had apply for the unit), Henry (my father-in-law) and I packed up the camper and Kevin’s truck to go see what we could find.  We pulled into the spot late on Friday and got  ready for the next day.  That first night is always a restless one, with the all too familiar dreams of grandeur and excitement.  The morning also came with the familiar feeling of grogginess from the lack of sleep.

This morning was one of a close call.  We were in position for where the elk were heading when a couple of hunters walked into the elk and they split and we weren’t able to get

back into them that day.  The one good thing was as we split up and walked back to the truck.  Henry found the best dead head of a 6X6 I have ever seen. He initially saw just the top two tines sticking up out of the mud, but as he pulled, the antlers just kept coming!  It was a neat find.

Dad with dead head e

The next day we saw more elk, but no luck in slipping in for a shot.  That afternoon started the rain, which would continue throughout the night and into the next day.  We decided to pack up the gear and headed out since the rain was really coming down.  The area we were in could become a giant mudhole and we could potentially get stuck in there until it dried out some.

The Week Long Trip

The next week at work was fast and furious as I was attempting to get everything done in four days that I would have to take care of to be gone for 10 total.  Finally Thursday night rolled around.  Kevin and I would be taking his camper out so we met at his house to get all of the final items ready for us to get on the road.

Once in Lewistown, we decided to check out a piece of private land that  I had permission to hunt antelope on.  This time there were antelope on it, so what was supposed to be traveling to our elk hunt quickly turned into an antelope hunt.

Kevin and I got my bow out and started to pull a sneak on.  I ended up seeing a buck chasing a doe and they were not really paying much attention, so I got into the irrigation ditch and snuck in.

I kept as low as I could and eventually they turned broadside.  The only issue, they were at 90 yards and I had no way of trying to get any closer.  I knew we should get going, so I pushed it a bit and tried to belly crawl.  Their eyes were too good and I ended up spooking them on to the neighbor’s property.

We loaded up and got ready for another 2 hour drive to get to our camp.

We arrived later to camp without a problem and began setting up for the week.  Later that evening, Henry made his way into camp and gave us a hard time about not being out yet.

We hunted that Saturday and we saw elk, but it didn’t end with a shot.  We talked about the plan for the next day and went to bed, ready to try and execute the plan.

The next morning we headed out and parked the truck.  We moved to the top of the ridge and I let out a location bugle.  To our surprise, three different bulls sounded off down the canyon.  From this reaction, I figured it was going to be a good morning.  We then split up from Henry and moved in closer.

As we got closer to where the bulls could be, I decided to adjust some gear.  Kevin was new to bowhunting and all he had this year was a hiking backpack and with every step he took, it was making a swishing sound.  I had him take it off in order to kill some of the noise we might make.  He grabbed a few items and we moved on forward.  We moved to the edge of a field and I put Kevin into a spot I thought would be perfect if the bull kept coming.

I moved off about 75 yards and set up my decoy.  During this whole time the bulls were screaming bugle after bugle, getting us excited about what may be coming.  I thought they were within about 150 yards and so I started cow calling since we heard a couple of cows in the mix.  After a few minutes of calling, one bull seemed to be moving away , but the two other bulls were still bugling.

We decided the only way to get him to come in was to get closer to the action.  We pulled the decoy and moved about 300 yards down the ridge to where the drainage we were on opened up to another drainage.  I then set out the decoy and started cow calling again.  While I was calling this time, after about every third call, I would hear what sounded like a hoochie mama from primos.  Kevin and I talked about this for a moment and we decided that we should keep calling and that the primos call  was maybe a hunter but hopefully they would stay were they were at.  After about 10 minutes, the bull seemed to be moving further away again.  This is when I went to desperation mode and I decided to rake the tree.

When I raked the tree, the bull lit back up and I started into my cow calls again.  I sent Kevin down across the other side of the draw.  I ended up cow calling a couple more times and then the surprise of the day happened.  What we both had thought was a hunter calling using a hoochie mama, was actually a cow!  She appeared over the ridge to our right.  She saw the decoy and I called again and she started coming.

It was at this time I saw the bull, his antlers coming over the top of the ridge.    From where Kevin was sitting, however, he couldn’t see him coming.  I cow called one more time and he ripped off a bugle, which let Kevin know he was almost there. 

It was just after this bugle, the bull saw the decoy (which I was sitting behind).  Once he saw the decoy he lost his mind and he moved quickly toward the bottom of the draw and was 32 yards in front of Kevin.  I saw Kevin draw and heard the bow go off and the great thwack the arrow makes when entering the body.  The elk ran up the ridge a ways and then coughed out blood.  I kept calling and he stopped one more time.

Kevin was jumping around with excitement and as he looked at me I signaled him to calm down and that I could still see him.  I cow called one more time and he disappeared up over the top of the ridge.

I then packed up my gear and took my bow and strapped it to my badlands diablo dos pack.  I moved across the draw and got up to Kevin.  He was beside himself trying to decide what to do next.

From what I had seen I told we should wait about another 15 minutes and that we should go take a look at the arrow.  We found the arrow in a bush and Kevin was worried as the broad head didn’t look like it deployed.  I had him hand it to me and I opened it up, to which we saw it had blood and hair on the inside.  This told me we probably were going to find the bull not too far away.

We moved up the hill to follow the blood trail (although it wasn’t where I last saw the elk).  When we moved up to where he had coughed, there was a good amount of blood. So we kept moving.  At the top of the hill, there was an insane amount of blood and I absolutely knew that the bull was close.

But for Kevin, he expected the bull to keep moving, as this was his first elk ever (and with a bow).  As we approached the top of the hill, in a dip to the left I saw the bull upside down.  Just as in the hunting shows, I ended tapping Kevin on the shoulder and pointing out his bull to him.  It was at this moment he lost his mind.

Bull Elk e.jpg

The bull in the end ran about 200 yards but ended up only being about 100 yards away from the initial shot.  Kevin had hit the main artery in the neck with his frontal shot (which we discussed a few months earlier about where to aim).  I gave him my phone to take pictures with and I used my GPS to find where we left his pack.

Elk Selfies

We took a couple of pictures with Kevin and his bull and then we started to work.  We tried to call Henry on the radio, but he didn’t respond.

From where he was located in relationship from the truck we determined to gut the elk, cut him in half and then go get the cart.  The cleaning was probably the least bloody one we have ever had as most of the blood had come out of the neck.  We cut between the third and fourth rib and moved the bull in to the shade.  Just as we started heading up to the pickup Henry called and said to come pick him up.

We responded that he should come find us and we  headed up to the pickup.  We got the back half loaded in to the cart and headed back up to the pickup.  Just as we were about a hundred yards away from the pickup, Henry saw us loading up the back half so he joyfully sat down and watched us load the back half.

He met up with us and said “Where’s the other half?”

We said down the hill a bit.  He loaded up his pack and bow into the truck and we finished the pack out process for the bull.

After he was loaded up, we took him into the processor.

 

Things we did right:

Kept trying to get close in to the bull even while he is moving

Didn’t give threatening bugles after we figured he had cows

Using the decoy – this provided the bull the confidence when he got within the view of where he was hearing the calls.

Kevin was in a spot that the bull had to come through when he would see the decoy.

Things we could work on:

Making sure that we all had a radio – Kevin left his in his bag.  Doesn’t help in that we split up at some point.

Don’t always assume that the calls being made are humans.  Sometimes elk will sound funny or just like a call.

Keep working on calling.  The more you practice, the more confident you can be at calling.

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Christmas Gift List for the Outdoorsman

It can be really difficult to find a great Christmas present for the person in your life who likes to hunt and fish.  There is SO much gear out there and for some items, quality is imperative.  So we put together a list of items that we REALLY use and love or that we have seen in action and have been impressed with.   This is not a comprehensive list, but a cumulative list of various items that would be great as stocking stuffers or big items under the tree.

*This article does contain affiliate links. The money received from affiliate links does not cost you anything, but helps offset the costs associated with running this site.  We greatly appreciate your support!

Under 50 dollars:

Wool Socks – Socks can make a big difference in how comfortable you are when you are outdoors in the cold and everyone can use another pair of wool socks…  The ones I use are from fox river.  I use the merino socks for the bow and early rifle seasons and move to the heavier wool for the later season.

Shooting gloves – we have a pair of Cabela’s shooting gloves.  They keep your hands cool during the morning hunts while still providing dexterity for those moments when you need it.  The newer options have fingers and thumbs that work with your touch screen devices.

*From now until Dec. 15th:

Free Shipping on orders of $49+ at Cabelas.com! Use code: 6JOLLY


Fishing lures – spoons from JDRspecialtytackle.com are always a welcome gift.  These are spoons that you will lose before you wear off their great iron hide finish.  With the ice fishing season coming up, the small spoons (1/2 oz) should work well.  On another note he has socks, face masks, and arm sleeves in colors to match your favorite fish!  Most of the items are on sale right now and make sure to let them know in the notes when ordering that we sent you there!

Game Calls – most of the calls you can get for under 10 dollars a piece.  I have been really impressed by the offerings from Phelps Game Calls or the ones on elk101.com.  They sound great and are a great small item that can fit anyone’s budget.  While you are at elk101, if you decide to order Elk University, you can enter MTO30 at checkout to get $30 off the purchase price!

Fishing poles – as I have said in the past, you can never have too many poles, most starter poles can run under 50 dollars.  I have liked the jason mitchell line for the ice fishing season.

Maybe the outdoorsman in your life already has everything as far as gear goes. If so you might want to check these out.  Some local friends of ours create these really cool items made from materials like antler, oak from a Jack Daniels barrel and more.  They are worth a look!  You can find these items on their Etsy shop.Rusty Lathe

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Over 50 dollars:

Glass – this could be anything from binoculars to spotting scopes.  Depending on your budget I believe that Vortex makes some of the best for their price.  I own a pair of diamondback 10X42 binoculars and and a crossfire 2 scope.  These come with a great warranty and i have had friends that have sent them in for work.

Packs – I have been using Badlands packs for about 7 years and have not had a single issue with any of them.  They have a great warranty that passes along to anyone you may sell it to.  Right now I am running the Diablo Dos and have been thrilled with it as a daypack.

Boots – If you have heard your significant other talk about, complain or praise their current boots, you may be able to figure out what they want to try or continue with the current selection of boots.  For the price, I have really been enjoying my Irish Setters.  I wear the Grizzly Tracker and a Vaprtrek.  They work well and have withstood a lot of abuse from me in the past few years.  Other brands that are a bit more expensive that may do well are Crispi and Kennetrek.

Guns – always a winner in my book, but we as hunters are always thinking of the next gun that may have a use for in our hunting.  There are great new calibers and guns out there ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to others that will cost a couple of thousand.  If you get your spouse talking about this last hunting season or what may be coming up,  they may let you in on what gun they want.

Fishing poles – so ok, I know I have put them on the under 50 dollar price range items, but sometimes you need a specific pole for a specific situation.  There are a lot of great poles that can be bought.  You could go to impress by a G. Loomis or a St Croix, but I have a buddy that swears by his scheels brand fishing pole.  These poles are warrantied by the company and usually come at a great price.

Hope this helps you through the Christmas season!

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Antelope and Pheasant Hunting

Oh, man I just love fall.  I love the colors, the smell, the way the air feels… It just has a different energy from the rest of the year.  So combine that with going out to look for Bob’s antelope and going Pheasant hunting for the first time and it makes for a great time!

First I want to tell you this story… I guess about 13 years ago I had said to my dad that I wanted to hunt pheasant so my dad was on the lookout for a shotgun for me.  Well, while he and my mom were in Billings she had him stop at Shopko and he went to go look at guns and was eyeing a 20 gauge they had there for $230 but decided not to get it.  So they get ready to leave and as he goes out the door, the blue light starts flashing and the voice over the loudspeaker announces that the Remington 20 gauge is on blue light special!  Did you guys know they really did blue light specials? And I do want to know who controlled what went on special, maybe the guy at the gun counter who saw this fella looking at a particular gun? Anyway, dad goes back in there and the gun is on special so he goes ahead and buys it.  Then when he gets home, there’s a rebate in one of his hunting magazines so he sends that in and get twenty bucks back.  And now he’s got my gun.  But unfortunately it didn’t get out much until now.  And once you hear the rest of this, you might pity it even more!

Now for page two… (Anybody get that?  Huh?) Well, anyhow Bob and I took our 4 yr old son, Robby, with us and piled in the truck with my dad and went looking for antelope at daylight.

Little Buddy.jpg.

We drove out towards Grass Range to hunt out at the Ayer’s Hutterite Colony and entered the first pasture.  We soon realized we had picked the wrong day to hunt that area because it was the weekend that there were cattle buyers in town and a lot of the area rancher’s were gathering up calves to ship.  So as we drove in we were met with cattle semi’s, bawling cattle and horses and riders on the move.  We went ahead and checked the entire area that we had permission to hunt on, but the antelope had all been pushed out into the neighboring ranches.

Since we hadn’t had any luck with the antelope we decided to go home and change gear and get the dogs to go out Pheasant hunting.  We loaded up with shotguns and Bob’s bow, just in case…

On the way.jpg

Dogs in crates.jpg

My dad hunts two Brittany Spaniels, Joe and Dex, that are eight and ten years old so they have a lot of experience. And we have a Brittany Spaniel/Golden Retriever cross we call CC.  She is almost two and this was her first time out.  We really should have had her out before and we have mostly worked with her on obedience training, but she has always been pretty keen on pointing so we were hoping she hadn’t lost some of that natural instinct.

Pointing CC.jpg

As we got out of the truck,there were some Pheasant feathers on the ground and I showed them to CC and she got pretty excited and  dad’s dogs started sweeping along, nose to the ground.  We took off up along a draw with dad on one side and Bob and I on the other.  Dad’s dog flushed a hen right away but we can only shoot roosters so we continued on.  Our dog swept in and out of the long grass and brush, coming back to check in with us and then taking off again.  I think she thought at first that we were just out for a nice walk when all of a sudden as she was running excitedly after a scent she surprised a hen that flew up right in front of her.  She jumped up after it as it flew and then came back to us, running all out and you could see in her eyes that she knew what was up now.  She became a bit more focused and followed dad’s dogs more closely as they scoured the bottom of the coulee.  They scared up a few pheasant here and there and Bob and Dad got a few shots off with no luck.

Coulee.jpg
Looking back down the coulee

On our way back down, we went through a hailed-out barley field and Dad scared up a coyote and a few more hens and Bob tried another shot at a rooster.  But we didn’t actually take any down in that field.

Stubble Field.jpg

We crossed the road to another stubble field that edged a small ravine and we came across quite a few more birds, but dad’s dogs were hunting a bit too far out and we weren’t able to get a shot.  I was especially frustrated when I decided to move on and catch up to the guys and as I walked away the dogs got up two roosters out of the ravine where I had been standing.

Dad with Dogs.jpg

Day was drawing to a close and we decided to drive down and check out one more spot when dad noticed some roosters in the field off the road.  Bob hopped out and intended to let me try to get around where I could try a shot too but the birds started to take off and we didn’t get a chance at them.  We drove just a bit further and there was another rooster.  I hopped out and he flew up right in front of me.  I pumped my gun, settled it into my shoulder, squeezed the trigger… and nothing.  I left my safety on.  ARG!!!

Well, after that we saw a bunch of pheasant head across the stubble field and down towards the ravine in a different area.  We still had 40 minutes of hunting time left as you can hunt 30 minutes after sunset so we set off after them.  As we came up to the edge we saw them all coast down into the bottom.  We had left the dogs because we had hoped to sneak up on them a little bit so we stood looking down the steep hill as they disappeared into the long grass and brush in the bottom.  Then we all started to meander down the slope.   Pheasant flew up here and there and dad shot two roosters.  I didn’t get a shot and Bob tried for a couple.

Dad.jpg

So, all in all, it wasn’t entirely successful but man was it fun.  I loved tromping around with the dogs and the thrill of watching those beautiful birds fly up and hearing the whir of their wings.   I can’t wait to get out again.  And this time I am sure I will remember to flip my safety off.

 

Summer Fishing Series: Part II-4th of July Fishing at Fort Peck

Ft. Peck 4th of July weekend-

walleye-with-flared-fins

For this part of the series Katrina and I joined a couple of friends, Kevin and Crystal for a fishing trip to Ft. Peck at the southern part of the late had Hell Creek marina.  This would be our first time fishing there on that arm of the lake.

jdr-lures

During the weeks leading up to the trip both Katrina and I were figuring out what we would need to bring for both food, water, and fishing gear. We brought what we thought would be a good batch of gear.  A medium-light action spinning combo, a medium action spinning combo, and my typical tackle box:  basically the spoons from JDR Specialty Tackle that I had purchased on the last trip.

For the food we borrowed a Yeti 125 from my dad so that we would have just one spot to keep the food cool and get the fish cooled down until we were able to get home.  We wrapped dry ice in newspaper and put it in the bottom with regular ice over the top.  It worked so well, we were able to freeze the fish we caught and it kept our ice from melting the whole time.

About a week prior to the trip, we met up with Crystal and Kevin, who we would be getting to know very well during the next week (if want to get to know someone, the best way I have always found is to go “live” with them for a period of time by camping, hunting and generally being outdoors).  We talked through some of the specifics of what each couple would be bringing so that we could prevent doubling up on things.  This really set us up for a good time!

On the night before we were going to leave for the trip, we got as much of the gear ready as we could, so that we would be ready for the next day of travel.  After I wrapped up my work the next day, we loaded up the cooler, our gear, and the kids who were going to stay with grandparents who happen to be on the way.

We got the kids settled with their grandpa and grandma and met up with Kevin and Crystal in Lewistown.  This is where the fun began.  We hooked up the boat to my pickup as it was better suited to pull it and could handle all of our combined gear.  We got gas and then were on our way.

We arrived to the camping spot about 12:30 am, which was about what we figured, based on when we had left Lewistown.  We then started stealth-fully looking for a camping spot which had shade during the time when we would possibly in camp.  We found a spot and pulled out the tent to get it set up.

We had just recently purchased a tent from our local Sam’s Club and we had set it up in the yard the week before, that was helpful since we were setting up the tent in darkness.  We got it up just as the wind started blowing.  We found out one of the legs was a bit weak and we supported it with a bit of duct tape.

After finishing up the tent we went to getting the truck and camper unloaded. At this point we were all a bit tired and crashed.

Day 1 of Fishing:
We woke up early and made breakfast and tea for the girls and talked about what we would try to do to get the trip started off well.  We ate and got on the water relatively early and we were fishing!

The day started off kind of slowly.  We decided since I had had some luck bottom bouncing with my dad a few weeks earlier, that we would try that.  We were able to get a couple fish here and there, but nothing truly significant.

Katrina: I am going to interject here and just say that I had never been fishing like this.  My previous experience with fishing had been sitting on a bank, throwing the line out and waiting.  So I really didn’t know what to expect when I found out that we would be sitting all day in a boat.  I brought a lot of books and was prepared to nap!  But what I found out was, it was amazing out there.  There is a lot more to the ways you can fish from a boat which makes it really interesting.  And it was just so relaxing and fun, especially in the morning, the water is beautiful, the fresh air smells fantastic, and you don’t really have any responsibilities on a boat.  It’s not like you are expected to accomplish anything besides fishing out there!

Ft Peck Scenery.jpg

Day 2

Once again we woke early.  This time we tried further down the lake, we found where the electronics said we had fish, but they were not biting.  We used all types of colors, ranges of depths, and speeds, but to no avail.  The fish were just not biting.

We decided to take a break as it was very hot.  We moved into the main part of the lake and before we knew it Kevin had jumped in.  We all decided to follow suit and jumped in after him.  This was a great change to the day, it being so slow for so long.

After we all clambered back into the boat, we decided to try going around the edge of a cove trolling some of the spoons from JDR specialty tackle while bottom bouncing.  We were trolling along when Katrina called “I think I’m hung up!”  When I turned to look, the rod was bouncing heavily!  After a few more moments of reeling, to our disappointment, the line went slack.  After reeling in the line, I looked at the end and it was a clean break, telling us it wasn’t a snag, but rather a pike’s teeth that had done the job.  Unfortunately, we had not set up that pole with a steel leader.  Just a reminder that when you can, use a steel leader to help get the fish in the boat.

We moved down the bay, and a few minutes in, we were all reeling  up again as Kevin had hooked in to a fish.  However, this wasn’t an ordinary fish.  I happened to be watching Kevin as the fish hammered down the bottom bouncer and almost took the rod into the lake.  At times during this fight, the fish seemed to tear line from the reel, then Kevin would be able to catch up to him and get him closer to the boat.  However, after the five minute struggle, the fish, with his sharp teeth, cut through the line and left Kevin struggling to accept what had just happened.

After that fish, we decided to keep fishing that bay, as it seemed to be holding fish that were biting.  After another few minutes, we found out that we were going to have a “crappie” day!  Kevin hooked into the first one, and then one after another we all started catching these great pan fish!  We also caught a few walleye during that day and packed it up to head to camp and have another great dinner done by the whole crew.

Day 3 – Redemption

After talking the previous night, the gals decided they would like a morning off to sleep a bit more and enjoy their warm drinks (coffee and tea) while Kevin and I decided to head out.  This proved to be good for us, bad for the gals.

We decided to try to catch the walleye bite in the morning in the same bay that we had fished the day before.

We got to the bay early with no other boats around.  We decided not only to try to be there in the morning, but to also try  plastic baits on a jig head instead of spoons and bottom bouncers.  Almost right off we started catching crappie and a walleye here and there.  It was fun to be catching fish consistently which was a change from the past two days.

One of my casts in particular I threw towards the bank where we had fish the day before. This time, to my surprise, I ended up hooking in to something different!  It struggled and pulled differently than any of the fish I had caught prior, and after a couple of minutes, I ended up bringing to the surface a really nice smallmouth bass! We brought him in to the boat and took a couple of good pictures and then moved down shore, not 10 minutes later I brought in another one just about the same size!  I couldn’t believe it!  Two really nice bass within a couple of minutes.

bob-bass

After the two bass I thought it had been a really successful day and didn’t really expect much else from the day.  It was then I ended up hooking into another nice fish.  As I was reeling, it felt different as it was coming up.  When it hit the surface I was ecstatic.  It was about a 5 lb walleye, my biggest to date!  Kevin was giving me a bad time about my luck as we took a couple of pictures and put it on to the stringer.  Since it was a big fish I decided to put two hooks through his mouth so he wouldn’t get off.

bob-big-walleye

We kept on fishing for awhile, still in awe over the difference in this day.  I decided that I would look to see how the fish on the stringer were doing.  When I looked down I saw something terrifying.  My walleye had worked his way off one of the hooks and the other was open!  I set down my rod and was going to pull it up slowly so I could replace and close the hooks, but when he felt me pull up on the stringer, he shook right off of the hook and back in to the water.

This was devastating as he was by far the best Walleye I have caught and I definitely wanted to show Katrina a good sized walleye.  But after a few minutes we both got back to fishing.

kevin-bass

Kevin, running the boat and fishing from the bow, then got a bite and hooked into a good fish.  The fish came up relatively quickly, but it was another 5lb walleye.  Although we both knew it was a different fish, I couldn’t let him get off easy, so I told him thank you for getting my fish back into the boat.  This time we ran the string through the gill so there was no way for him to get off.

Kevin Walleye.jpg

It was about lunch time after Kevin’s fish so we headed back to shore to eat lunch and pick up the girls.  We then went right back out to that bay to see what else it would hold.

To our dismay, the rest of the day was filled with a fish here and a fish there, although Crystal did get a good sized bass.

crystal-bass

Day 4 –(4th of July) All good things must come to an end.

We woke up early to get a couple of hours on the water. Although this was a last ditch attempt we didn’t have very much luck.  A few fish here and there.  Kevin did, at the end of the morning, finally did catch the pike of the trip.

Kevin Pike.jpg

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The clouds doing their part to celebrate the 4th of July

Things we did right:

Used electronics to find the fish

 kept trying different depths, colors, and methods

When we found something that worked, we stuck with it

Having friends and family around

Things we could have done better:

HAVE A LIVEWELL

Asked about what was working from a local shop before fishing.

About Us

About Us

Hello and welcome to the Montana Outdoorsman blog!  We thought we would share a little about who’s behind the writing on here.

We are Katrina and Bob, we will be sharing about our adventures in the outdoors in our home state of Montana.  We hope to inspire and encourage you and hopefully hear more from you and the ventures you undertake.

Our families have lived in Montana for at least 3 generations. We have grown up in fishing and hunting families and we continue to carry on the tradition.  We not only enjoy these activities but they also support our family.  We stock the freezer every fall and that’s the majority of the meat we use for the rest of the year.  We have helped my parents butcher chickens in trade for some of them, but otherwise we eat almost only wild game.

As you browse through the blog, Bob will be the one who covers a lot of the hunting and fishing experiences, gear reviews, and tips and tricks. And Katrina will be doing more of the the hiking, cooking, gardening,and preserving portion as well as the behind the scenes help.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or ideas.  We are glad you are here!

 

You can find us here:

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email: mtoutdoorsmanblog@gmail.com or leave a message in the contact for below!

 

 

 

Blessed

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As I sit here writing this post, I am reminded of just how blessed I am to be in a place where I can go hunting and fishing with my family. From the time spent two Sundays ago with one of my best friends in the rain and clouds, to hunting with new and old friends and family, and following family into new hunting territory. My hope would be that you would get to experience this for yourself. But if you cannot, I hope that this blog may be the way you can experience the outdoors and get ideas for how to enjoy it all.

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